This article analyzes the topic of leadership from an evo-lutionary perspective and proposes three conclusions that are not part of mainstream theory. First, leading and following are strategies that evolved for solving social coordination problems in ancestral environments, includ-ing in particular the problems of group movement, intra-group peacekeeping, and intergroup competition. Second, the relationship between leaders and followers is inher-ently ambivalent because of the potential for exploitation of followers by leaders. Third, modern organizational struc-tures are sometimes inconsistent with aspects of our evolved leadership psychology, which might explain the alienation and frustration of many citizens and employees. The authors draw several implications of this evolutionary analysis for leadership theory, research, and practice.
Keywords: evolution, leadership, followership, game the-ory, mismatch hypothesis